*** Official WANTED Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Chuck Mayer, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    With a major caveat. I am a seat fanatic. I attended a sneak preview last night, and was forced to sit in the very worst seats imaginable (front row, FAR right). Therefore, the 2.35 AR was murder, and though I got used to it, it was less than optimal for judging a film, especially such a visual one.

    Had I been alone, I would have skipped out on the screening, preferring to wait and see it in my usual seat in just over a week. But my friend wanted to give it a whirl, and the end result was tolerable.

    Alright, WANTED. I've never read the source material, and cannot comment to the faithfulness of the adaptation. I've heard it is completely different. That bothers me not at all, because Millar is not my favorite writer. I have also NOT seen Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch or Day Watch, though I had seen the trailers.

    The film has some exceptional moments, mostly visual, though there is a moment of Zen (violent, but...) beauty that I REALLY liked, not for the visuals but for the meaning. I wouldn't say it's good. It's often juvenile and immature and simplistic, but the overall effect basically works. The crowd of scum and plebians (sitting in the good seats) seemed to REALLY like it, and I imagine teenage boys are going to froth at the mouth to see it.

    It's not particularly original, with the core concept most recently seen in The Matrix. A cube drone going nowhere suddenly finds a) meaning and b) immediate (and I mean nearly immediate) badassery skills, and does his thing. It borrows quite a bit (especially late action bits) from Equilibrium. But before I say "thief", I'll scream homage, because the director makes these cues visually stimulating. Even from my shitty seat. It uses songs more effectively than most action films. The acting is pretty good, though sometimes uneven. It does have a great last line to sewnd the audience out with.

    Finally, the direction. I could see TB working some themes in, but he currently is mostly visual flair. From what I understand of the Watch films, he's a potpourri of great ideas usually ramped up with some creativity. While not original, that is still entertaining. The story is better than I expected if you have a healthy suspension of disbelief (with regards to the laws of physics and fate). But you'll go for the action, and you'll be rewarded. The movie recognizes what it is, and plays it up.

    In short, I'll buy it on Blu-Ray. Just for the visual treats it provides. I'll also probably see it in theaters again, so that I can actually see it.

    I think it's BO is going to do pretty well. It won't beat WALL*E or anything, but it serves a completely different audience. Like I said, the audience ATE IT UP in a way I haven't seen in a while.

    If you love your action stylized, this is worth the price of admission. I won't tell you to turn your brain off, but I would recommend feeding it beforehand [​IMG]
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Wanted". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The first third of the film is pretty strong and entertaining (where the humor is derived from the violence in a competent manner), but the middle act is a bit too paint-by-numbers in an uninspired bit of screenplay writing, though there is some interesting stunts and CGI on display in the second act, and the final third of the film is over-the-top with plenty of homages to other action films poured into the mix that doesn't quite gell into a great finale, but gives pause to honor among assassins, and finishes with a strong final line.

    James McAvoy, with his American accent that almost sounds like young Tom Cruise at times, produced some good laughs with his reactions to being initiated into the world of assassins, while also gaining and displaying more and more confidence as his education progresses. Angelina Jolie looked mighty fine in the raccoon eyes-inspired eye make-up and did manage to overcome a spotty script where her character was concerned. Morgan Freeman gets off one of the funniest R-rated lines in the last act that I've heard in a long time, and he does what he does, bringing the gravitas to his role.

    I give 2.75 stars, or a grade of B- (mainly for the humorous violence).
     
  4. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    i was thoroughly entertained with this movie and i think it stands on its own although there are many times where you feel like you have seen this before.

    i am going to go see it again and i wish that it was available for my home theater right now. some review or someone mentioned here that teenage boys will love this movie. and i agree to an extent. but imo, if i had a teenage son i would make this a required viewing for some of its underlying themes.

    just a tad below excellent. 3.75 stars. not for the violence, or stylized action. but for the balls that this movie has to actually be on the screen in the age of pg-13 watered down b.s. and the theme that i spoke about earlier.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I like this film alot more in comparison to "Shoot Em' Up". Part of it is due to Jolie and Freeman being a part of the cast and my fondness for them as actors. Also, the film even with it's unrealistic violence, made me tense watching it while caring for some of the characters. I give the film a solid B+ that might eventually graduate to A-. By the way, there isn't an actress out there today that has Jolie's sex appeal despite her skinny arms and chicken legs. Her bad girl image plays very well to me. Also, some kudos to the director for creating an enjoyable film watching experience even if much of the plot and action is BS.[​IMG]






    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    Well, I liked the first act. I thought I was in for an awesome movie. However, the longer it went, the dumber it got IMO. By the time we figure out how they "pick" thier targets,
    I was rolling my eyes. The final act was just so absurd and silly that I don't think I will ever see this again. I will bump it up a grade simply because the first act was so cool. Hopefully Wall-E will be better.
    Final grade: C
     
  7. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    The Watch series were interesting, so I had a good idea of what to expect going in. I think the impossible stunts work better in the period swapping Russian flicks, but you can have fun if you're in the mood for this type of popcorn action.
    Fox's decision in the end was a nice touch. Very Russian [​IMG]
     
  8. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    This is my review, courtesy of my MySpace blog:

    Wanted - ***1/2
    Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

    Imagine if you will this: What if The Matrix knocked up Lucky Number Slevin? That's the easy part, but if they had a love child together, then no doubt would Wanted be the result. It's the best action flick I have seen in a couple of years, maybe even more.

    The film stars James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson. He hates his life. He has a girlfriend who hates him, a best friend who is screwing her on the side, a job he can't stand, and a 0 result standing on Google.com. It seems that all would remain as mundane as before. That is, until the day he meets a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie), who tells him that his father was one of the greatest assassins of all time (He never knew this because he walked out on his mother a week after he was born). After apparently being assassinated by someone who double-crossed him, Wesley is called in to try and exact revenge against the man who killed him. Once he understands, he meets the head, named Sloan (Morgan Freeman), who tells him that only a select few have the abilities that he has. Wesley's heart condition is really him being able to slow down time and being able to see bullets and other things slow down.

    Just the realization of this ability would've been enough, but the film absolutely does more than just show that off. It also has a couple of twists up its sleave that are not only interesting but surprising. As I entered this movie, I had no idea what to expect beyond "the timid guy becomes an assassin." But as it unfolded in front of me, I was shocked that there was so much more than just the action sequences and violence. The most interesting sequence is Wesley's training sequence, which is a very violent and quite grieling sequence to watch. However, despite these misgivings, it is also Wesley growing up, growing a set of balls and realizing for the first time that he was a lot stronger than he ever thought he was.

    About 50 minutes into the film, I felt like I had seen a standard action film with substance, but it was about here that the twists came into play, and they were fit in quite amazingly. Surprisingly, the biggest twist, the last one, was the one I never saw coming and the film's lengthy climatic battle was one of those amazing ones that just dazzled and wowed as the bullets and swords flew. Like the climatic action sequence in last year's Hot Fuzz, careful attention to detail was paid throughout, but I was more reminded of the stylish choreography that I saw in the video game Max Payne. It had the same style and feel as that.

    Tchnically, the film is a masterpiece, filled to the brim with amazing special effects and absolutely astounding stunts (How many of them are real is something for you to be the judge of), but I couldn't help but feel that something was missing. Sure, the whole film is badass, but I think my only complaint with the film is that spends too much time on its origin story and not enough on its action sequences (Thankfully, the origin story, unlike the original Spider-Man, is quite a piece of work in its own right).

    The perfromaces are also really good as well. I have enjoyed McAvoy in everything he has done previous to this, and despite (like Penelope) him putting on an American accent, he gives the character of Wesley Gibson a soul. He may not have a life, but he sure grows a set of balls that many timid men on their own wish they could grow. He's definitely someone to look up to (as long as you don't kill anyone). Angelina Jolie is good too, as the physical demands her role requires are pulled off with ease. And Morgan Freeman, as usual steals the show. He's absolutely believable as the head of The Fraternity and we never doubt him for a second.

    Still, the film is so good that if you love wall-to-wall action sequences, this one's for you. For those who hated Indiana Jones or thought that Iron Man was not enough, Wanted will give you the fix you're looking for (Or at least until Hancock or The Dark Knight come out)
     
  9. Ron68

    Ron68 Supporting Actor

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    This movie was pretty dumb yet very exciting. I'd put it in the same league as Jolie's Gone In 60 Seconds, both were fun to watch but 60 Seconds doesn't hold up well at all on repeat viewings and I'm not sure Wanted will either. I wouldn't pay more than $10 for this movie on DVD. I found most of the Matrix inspired effects to be distracting and the basic plot to be somewhat laughable. I did like the train sequence and a couple of the bullet shots though, plus the ending. I also like the scenes with McAvoy's character's girlfriend and his best friend and the humour in the movie was good.

    The cast made this film watchable and fun, especially James McAvoy, Jolie then Freeman. I found myself really caring for and liking McAvoy's character, he made the movie work. I would have liked to got to know the other characters more, I would have like the movie more if I had. Overall, I had a good time and I will check the movie out again but it could have been a lot better. I'm glad I used my free movie ticket and didn't have to pay to see this, I was going to save it for Hellboy II. I'll gladly pay to see that one.
     
  10. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    8/10

    Solid action flick. The film is basically "The Matrix on Steroids." Enjoyable, mostly forgettable.
     

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